MINNEAPOLIS – The judges issued a ruling on Tuesday in a lawsuit against a Minneapolis police officer charged with shooting deadly gunshots at an unarmed woman approaching minutes after calling his 911 squad car to report a possible rape behind her house.  Mohamed Noor was charged with murder and manslaughter in July 2017 for the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old double citizen of the United States and Australia.
The jury reported five hours on Monday and six hours on Tuesday before making a decision. The verdict was expected to be read around 5pm. CDT.
Noor and his partner rolled down the street behind Damond's house and checked out the 911 call just before shooting. Noor testified that a loud bang on the patrol car had startled his partner and he saw a woman emerge her arm at his partner's window. He said he shot to protect his partner's life.
The prosecution attacked Noor for firing without seeing a gun or Damond's hands. They also asked if the loud bang was real. Neither Noor nor his partner Matthew Harrity mentioned it to the investigators at the scene, and Harrity mentioned it three days later in an interview with state investigators. Noor refused to speak to the investigators.
The death of Damond, a life coach fiancéed a month after the shooting, sparked outrage in both the US and Australia. It also cost Minneapolis' sheriff her job and a few months later contributed to the electoral defeat of the city's mayor. Damond was white. Noor, 33, is a Somali American who has switched from a job in the business world to a police officer. He said he had become a police officer because he wanted to "serve," and two years before the shooting he was celebrated by Minneapolis leaders who were targeting a more diversified police force in a city with a large number of Somali immigrants.
He was released after being charged.
None of the police officers had a body-mounted camera in operation when Damond was shot, something that Harrity accused of a vague policy he did not demand. Both men turned on their cameras in time to record the consequences, including attempts to rescue Damond with resuscitation. But Noor's bullet hit her in an important abdominal artery, and a medical examiner said she had lost blood so fast that even faster medical care might not have saved her.
The prosecutor's office tried to ask questions as police officers and state investigators acted on the consequences. They played extracts from body cameras worn by the answering officers, revealing that many officers turned them on and off as they wished. A police officer was on his camera at some point and told Noor to "shut up until you had to tell anyone." They also pointed out that there is no forensic evidence to prove that Damond touched the patrol car. However, the case was still based on the jury's assessment of whether Noor was entitled to shoot, and they only had the officers' testimony for a picture of the key moments. At his closing argument on Monday, Defense Attorney Thomas Plunkett told the jury it It's just about the "moment" when Noor fired his gun and they had to think about whether Noor would have acted as a sensible officer under the same circumstances. Prosecutor Amy Sweasy argued that the shooting was unjustified.
In his only public statement about the shooting, Noor testified that, after hearing the loud noise, he saw fear in Harrity's eyes and heard his partner shout, "Oh Jesus!" when he went for his weapon. Noor said that Harrity had difficulty pulling the pistol from its holster. Noor said he saw a woman in a pink shirt with blond hair, who appeared at Harrity's window and raised her right arm.
"I fired a shot," he said, adding later, "My intention was to stop the threat and save my partner's life."
Harrity was harassed by prosecutors for not firing Has. He said he had not judged whether there was a threat at the time Noor was firing. When Sweasy Harrity asked if it was premature to use lethal force, he said, "Yes, with what I had."
Both officers testified their confidence and mutual esteem. Both cried during their testimonies.
The jury consisted of 10 men and two women. Six of the jury, including the two women, are colored.
If convicted, the alleged judgments vary between four years for the homicide, 12½ years for the third degree, and 25½ years for the second degree. Follow
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